Modelling marine microplastics accumulation zones through freshwater discharge sources: Simulated release from the Onkaparinga River and Torrens River, South Australia

Kyle B. Mitchell, Charles James, Jason Gascooke, Sophie C. Leterme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Plastic pollution is fast becoming one of the most prominent contamination issues facing the marine environment. Microplastics are a major subset of plastic waste now present in all global oceans, with their numbers standing only to increase. This study applies a coupled hydrodynamic model and Lagrangian particle-tracking model to predict and simulate microplastic transport in South Australian waters. Virtual particles representing microplastics were released daily for 365 days from two major freshwater input sources along the coastline of Adelaide, Australia. These particles entered the Gulf St Vincent and were tracked over two model years using LTRANS software. The model identified general gulf circulation as circular, clockwise, with net southward particle transport from particle release sites. A potential accumulation zone associated with a local eddy was identified. Concentrations of particles that passed through local marine parks were also calculated in response to the potential concerns they pose in vulnerable protected areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115334
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume194
Issue numberPart B
Early online date2 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Gulf St Vincent
  • Hydrodynamic model
  • Lagrangian particle-tracking model
  • Marine protected areas

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